Expatica news

Forum bosses bow down to protests

12 May 2004

BARCELONA – Protestors who complained visitors to the Forum 2004 festival could not bring food and drink have won the day, director general Jordi Oliveras said Wednesday.

People will now be able to bring food and drink into the Forum arena in the east of Barcelona.

And by this weekend, visitors with a day pass will be able to come in and out – something organisers had banned before.

Organisers changed their minds after hearing repeated complaints from visitors during the first few days.

The 141-day festival was opened by King Juan Carlos on 8 May in the Catalan capital.

People will be able to bring food and drink into the area for a trial 15 days.

If this works and people do not simply use the arena as a picnic area, organisers will extend this period.

Oliveras said Wednesday that food and drink was initially banned not because Forum organisers wanted to stop commercial activity but because they hoped people would enjoy the ‘diverse culinary experience’ that the Forum offers.

But organisers are not going to cut the prices of food and drink in the Forum area, despite complaints. Nor will they cut the price of tickets.

Organisers are to improve problems of sign-posting and try to highlight information packs that detail events. They will also boost transport inside the Forum area, with small trains operating.

Meanwhile, Portuguese writer José Saramago said Wednesday he could not take part in a discussion scheduled for the Forum for health reasons.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news